57th Air Division

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57th Air Division
57th Air Division crest.jpg
57th Air Division emblem
Active 19 October 1940 – 1 November 1941;
6 July 1942 – 12 September 1945;
10 April 1951 – 2 July 1969;
22 January 1975 – 14 June 1991
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Part of see "Assignments" section below
Garrison/HQ see "Stations" section below
Equipment see "Aerospace vehicles" section below
Decorations

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg

see "Honors" section below

The 57th Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the Fifteenth Air Force, based at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. It was inactivated on 24 June 1991.

Established as the 8th Pursuit Wing, it conducted training from 1940 to 1941. As a paper unit, it moved to India and then to Egypt in December 1942.

It finally gained personnel and aircraft, and became operational as the 8 Fighter Wing on 6 July 1942 and later as the 57 Bombardment Wing on 6 April 1943. Initially, the 57th flew close air support missions against enemy troops and gun emplacements in the vicinity of Anzio, Italy; later, it flew bombing missions against railway marshalling yards at Foligno, Littoria, and Terni, Italy. Between 19 March 1944 and 11 May 1944 the 57th took part in Operation Strangle to destroy Italian marshalling yards, railroad repair facilities and other rail targets such as bridges, tunnels, and viaducts. It continued to fly close air support and interdiction missions in Italy throughout the war, and supported the invasion of southern France on 15 August 1944. The unit was inactivated at the end of the war.

Reactivated as an intermediate command echelon of Strategic Air Command in 1951, the 57th Air Division assumed a supervisory role of subordinate bombardment units. Its units trained to conduct long range bombardment, air refueling, and strategic reconnaissance operations around the world. Between 1965 and 1969, division units supported Operation Arc Light bombing and Operation Young Tiger air refueling operations in Southeast Asia. In 1980 the 57th reorganized to employ Strategic Air Command conventional strategic forces (bomber, tanker, and reconnaissance) in crisis situations worldwide.

It was inactivated in June 1991 due to budget constraints and the reduction of forces after the end of the Cold War.

History[edit]

Lineage[edit]

  • Established as 8th Pursuit Wing on 19 October 1940
Activated on 6 November 1940
Inactivated on 1 November 1941
  • Redesignated 8th Fighter Wing on 6 July 1942
Activated on 24 July 1942
Redesignated 57th Bombardment Wing on 6 April 1943
Inactivated on 12 September 1945
  • Redesignated 57th Air Division on 10 April 1951
Organized on 16 April 1951
Discontinued on 16 June 1952.
Inactivated on 16 June 1952
  • Activated on 16 June 1952
Inactivated on 2 July 1969
  • Activated on 22 January 1975
Inactivated on 14 June 1991

Assignments[edit]

Components[edit]

  • Strategic Air Command Wings
  • Strategic Air Command 1975-1991
5 Bombardment: 22 January 1975 – 14 June 1991
28 Bombardment: 1 May 1982 – 23 January 1987
44 Strategic Missile: 1 May 1982 – 23 January 1987
55 Strategic Reconnaissance: 1 April 1980 – 1 October 1982
91 Strategic Missile: 22 January 1975 – 14 June 1991
92 Bombardment Wing: 23 January 1987 – 15 June 1988
319 Bombardment: 22 January 1975 – 1 May 1982;
321 Strategic Missile: 22 January 1975 – 1 May 1982; 23 January 1987 – 16 June 1988
  • Third Air Force Groups
49 Pursuit: 24 May – 2 October 1941 (detached 6 August – 2 October 1941)
  • Twelfth Air Force Groups
12 Bombardment: 1 November 1943 – 1 January 1944 (detached 1 November 1943 – 1 January 1944)
47 Bombardment: 6 October – 10 December 1943 (detached entire period)
57 Fighter: 1 November 1943 – 1 January 1944 (detached entire period)
79 Fighter: 1 November 1943 – 1 January 1944 (detached entire period)
321 Bombardment: 1 November 1943 – 1 January 1944 (detached 4 November 1943 – 1 January 1944) 1 March 1944 – 12 September 1945 (detached 20 August – 12 September 1945)
340 Bombardment: 1 November 1943 – 1 January 1944 (detached 1 November 1943 – 1 January 1944); 1 March 1944 – 26 July 1945.
310 Bombardment: 15 March 1944 – 12 September 1945 (detached 20 August – 12 September 1945)
319 Bombardment: 10 November 1944 – 10 January 1945

Stations[edit]

Honors[edit]

  • Campaign Streamers: World War II: Naples Foggia (Air); Rome Arno..

Emblem[edit]

Per bend azure and gules, a bend argent between in chief a globe of the third lined sable emitting three lightning flashes or and issuing from base a hand holding a torch of the fourth garnished of the fifth flammant of the second and silver. (Approved 7 April 1954). ].

Aerospace vehicles[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • 57th Air Division Factsheet